Often times occupational therapy and physical therapy get mistaken for being the same profession. They do share some commonalties. Practitioners of each profession are trained in the knowledge and practice of treating musculoskeletal injuries. Also, both professions aim to educate patients on how to prevent future injuries and how the healing process works. Though aspects of each profession can overlap, these professions are completely different. Below we’ve briefly listed the main differences between Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy.
Occupational Therapy is a specialized medical profession that focuses on day-to-day tasks to help patients recover. Practitioners of this profession help patients with daily living skills and self-care tasks to help them live life to the fullest. To do this, Occupational Therapists incorporate adaptive tools to aid in improving cognitive disabilities and motor skills. The main goal for an occupational therapist is to help patients to improve their ability to carry out their daily tasks.
Physical therapy is a specialized medical profession that focuses on evaluating, diagnosing, and treating physical injuries. Most treatments for physical therapy focus on treating injured tissues and structures. Physical Therapists offer patients rehabilitative exercises and massages with the goal to restore motion in injured muscle areas. Rehabilitation is then planned via the use of medical aids or at-home therapy exercises.
There can be some confusion regarding comparing both occupational and physical therapy as both are thought to be synonymous with each other. The important lesson to take away from these two specialized medical professions is to know that they are different. Patients go to occupational therapists to help with their daily living situation while others go to physical therapy to get motion back and directly improve muscle tissue and range of motion.
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Article written by William Graves.